We can safely say that the beginning of the 21st century has seen a huge increase in travel. People are curious to discover new places, new cultures, new people, and new cuisines. Airlines and hotels make it easier than ever to travel around the globe, with affordable offers for all types of travellers: from the backpackers to those who want to enjoy a 5-star experience.
This does not mean that travel agencies only have to set up a website and an office and the clients will throng to buy their vacation packages. First of all, being such a dynamic industry, there is a breakneck competition. Secondly, consumers are increasingly savvy and take their time searching for the best offer for their budget and travel plans.
A Busy Advertising World Where You Are Sidelined
The world we live in now is a world of speed and short attention span. Traditional advertising is dead: people skip commercials on the TV, don’t buy newspapers (they read them online) and throw away everything but important correspondence they find in the mailbox.
Online advertising has also become ineffective, if you don’t know where to advertise. Emails are left unopened and banner ads are ignored or blocked by ad blocking software.
“Well, then, where do I advertise my travel agency?” you may ask impatiently. We have the answer for you.
Facebook™ – The Place Where Everyone Spends Their Spare Time
It is unbelievable how important social media has become for people. They rely on it to keep in touch with family and friends, share their life events and even look for products and services they need.
Now we’ve got your attention! Facebook™ pages, in the greatest proportion, are business pages. Large brands like Coca Cola and Apple and local small business have a Facebook™ page and take advantage of Facebook ads to connect with clients.
In the recent years, Facebook™ has become the most important element in digital strategies for all industries. Facebook™ ads are easy to create, easy to target and very effective.
In this article, we will share with you some tips to get you started with promoting your travel agency on Facebook™.
1. Dig Deep into Targeting Options
Once you are familiarised with the Facebook™ Ads Manager panel, the next step is to create your first ad. The Ad Creator section developed by Facebook™ is very user friendly: you don’t even have to know how to create an ad and you can get started with the step by step procedure.
One step you should spend time learning, though, is the one related to audience selection. You will find many selection criteria, from demographic, to behavioural, to interest-based. This is where you need to refine your audience selection, using your past experience as a travel agent and the data you already have – your list of customers.
In Facebook™, you can upload your list of contacts and they are matched to Facebook™ user accounts – this will create a Custom Audience. Based on the traits and demographic detail of this audience, Facebook can create a brand new audience for you – a Lookalike Audience.
The key advantage of this type of audience selection is that you can create highly targeted ads for all types of packages your travel agency is selling:
Honeymoons (targeting newly engaged people)
Family friendly vacations (targeting people with small children)
Business travel (targeting professionals who express an interest in travel)
Adventure travel (targeting young people who like backpacking tours and frugal travelling pages).
2. Sell an Experience, Not a Destination
Facebook™ ads rely heavily on visuals and less on copy. The standard formats of Facebook™ ads mimic native posts. You can use either photos or videos – but choose them wisely. Facebook™ users are not going to stop scrolling unless you show them something worth watching.
Thus, you should build solid relations with the managers of the destinations you promote and request them to send you the best promotional photos and videos they have. When you advertise, you don’t sell the place – you sell the emotional experience of being there, having fun and relaxing.
3. Pay Attention to the Copy
Facebook™ ads may rely mostly on the visual part, but what you write is also important. Once you’ve grabbed people’s attention with your image or video, give them a good reason to click on it. Use powerful words like: you, relax, enjoy, luxury, discount, save, now.
There is nothing more disheartening than a beautiful vacation photo accompanied by lukewarm copy that cannot create any emotional response.
4. State Your Call to Action Loud and Clear
Here’s a little secret: people cannot read your mind. Especially when their attention span is so short and can be easily distracted from your ad by other Facebook™ posts or by the real world around them. If you want them to click on your ad, to book the vacation now, to take advantage of the discounted offer – say it clearly in your call to action.
5. Help Your Advertising Effort with a Consistent Posting Schedule
Facebook™ marketing is not solely about the ads. People follow pages not just because they want to be the first to hear about special offers. They want to be entertained. They want to learn something new. They want to find a solution to their problems. As a travel agent, you are a valuable source of information on so many topics: how to plan a vacation on short notice, how to make the most of a new destination in a few days, tips and tricks for easy check in at the airport, etc.
Share your knowledge and the blog posts on your website on your Facebook™ page. Together with a smart ad strategy, you will see a significant increase in the number of leads for your travel agency.